Monthly Archives: March 2016

Summer Youth Programs on Mount Sequoyah

Fayetteville camp sequoyah circle logo

Registration is now open for Mount Sequoyah Retreat Center’s summer youth programs. Located on scenic Mount Sequoyah in Fayetteville, the center offers day camps for kids ages 5 to 12 from June through August.

Offerings include:

June 6-10: Camp Sequoyah Sports “Eyes on the Prize” featuring lacrosse, soccer, swimming, tennis and more. $175.

June 6-10: Champions Special Ministries Camp for ages 6 and above with intellectual/cognitive disabilites, higher functioning individuals with autism, or individuals with physical challenges. $285.

June 20-24: Camp Sequoyah Tennis  from 9 a.m. to noon for ages 5-16. $120.

June 27-July 1: Kanakuk Kamp Out Day Camp for students entering K-5th grades. $260.

July 6-9: Camp Sequoyah Missions “Heroes” for 3-6 graders. This is an overnight camp with adult chaperones. $175.

July 18-22: Kanakuck Kamp Out Day Camp for students entering K-5th grades. $260.

July 25-29: Camp Sequoyah Tennis  from 9 a.m. to noon for ages 5-16. $120.

July 25-29: Camp Sequoyah Tech “Wonderfully Made” will explore technology using hands-on activities. This session is offered in cooperation with 99 Balloons, an organization that works to change the story of disability. $175.

Aug. 1-5: Camp Sequoyah Create “Creator’s Critters” Music is an art and drama map for all kids in cooperation with 99 Balloons. $175.

Aug. 14: Camp Reunion from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. for all campers and their families.

Mount Sequoyah is rooted in children and youth ministries. For more information or to register, call 479-443-4531 or visit

by Jill Rohrbach

NWA Springtime Festivals in Bloom!

Spring is right around the corner, and so are these lively festivals! Here are some of the region’s top springtime celebrations happening across Northwest Arkansas in March, April and May…

Turpentine Creek Kite Festival  |  March 26

Kite Festival

Turpentine Creek Kite Festival

Join the fun and fly your own kite, or sit back and watch as they dance across the sky during the 26th Annual Kite Festival at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge in Eureka Springs. This year’s “Art with an Altitude” kite festival on March 26 includes contests, vendors and activities for the whole family. Experts will be on hand to help kids (and parents!) make their own kites, and share flying techniques. The festival is a fundraiser to help Turpentine Creek care for the tigers, lions, cougars and other wildlife that live at the refuge. For more info, visit

Springfest  |  April 16

This iconic festival started in 1983 by merchants on Dickson Street as a way to celebrate the history, culture and flavor of Fayetteville, and quickly became a late-April staple. This year’s festivities on April 16 will include local arts and crafts, a pancake breakfast, lots of live music, bed races, street food, a 5K run, and a dog parade. For more info, visit



Dogwood Festival  |  April 22-24

Held on the last weekend in April, this award-winning festival draws tens of thousands of people to the two major parks in downtown Siloam Springs. Exhibitors from all over the U.S. fill hundreds of booths with handmade, custom and resale items. Food vendors and regional entertainers are on hand, and the KidZone keeps the little ones happy and entertained. This year’s festival on April 22-24 includes the Dogwood 5K run and Bed Races on Broadway. For more info, visit

Fayetteville Foam Fest  |  May 7

The Fayetteville Town Center and outdoor plaza becomes a beer garden for this locals’ favorite on May 7. Benefiting Feed Fayetteville, this event for those 21 and older features local, regional, national and international brews, live music on an outdoor stage, and food trucks serving their tastiest eats. This year, bring your bike and ride in the first Fayetteville Foam Fest Fun Ride and Brewery Tour. For more info, visit

Block Street Block Party  |  May 22

Waiters races, beer gardens, live music stages, food trucks and funky characters help rock Block Street at this unique festival in downtown Fayetteville, this year on May 22. Plus, you get to visit all the great shops, bars, restaurants and other locally owned and independent businesses along Block Street leading up to the historic Downtown Square. For more info, visit

Block Street Block Party

Block Street Block Party






Team Sports Action in Northwest Arkansas

Year after year, gung-ho fans continue to fill up Razorback and Naturals stadiums in Northwest Arkansas, and 2016 is no exception. Come find out what everyone’s raving about as our home teams head into spring!

Team Celebration BSB 2015-0470

Razorbacks Baseball

Razorback Baseball

They earned the nickname “Omahogs” after playing in the College World Series in 2015, and this year the University of Arkansas Razorback baseball team started 2016 ranked in the pre-season Collegiate Baseball poll. Coached by Dave Van Horn, the U of A “Diamond Hogs” call the state-of-the-art Baum Stadium in Fayetteville home – named one of the top five “must visit” stadiums for 2016 by The season runs through May 21 (May 19 being the last home game), followed by regionals, super regionals and the College World Series in June (fingers crossed!), so there’s plenty of time to catch all the action, free giveaways, fan specials and more! Visit for more.

Behind Home 1 - 7.10

Arvest Ballpark in Springdale

Northwest Arkansas Naturals

The Northwest Arkansas Naturals return to action on April 7 when they host the Frisco RoughRiders to begin season nine of Naturals baseball. The Naturals are the Double-A Texas League Affiliate of the Kansas City Royals – the 2015 World Series champs! And with that kind of baseball lineage, expect the very best in minor league play. Coupled with family giveaways and fantastic fireworks shows at Springdale’s Arvest Ballpark, Naturals baseball is an exciting experience indeed! Visit for more.


Razorback Football Red/White Game & RazorFest

Fans will be in Hog heaven at the Arkansas Razorback football team’s annual Red/White Game and RazorFest celebration this year on Saturday, April 23. Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium at the U of A campus is where the football scrimmage gets underway at noon. The game is free and open to the public. Before the game, RazorFest is where you’ll find Razorback team players signing autographs, mascots Big Red, Sue. E or Pork Chop showing off their team spirit, live music, fun giveaways and fans galore! Visit for more info.


Champions for Kids Razorfest





This May: The Artosphere Festival Returns!

Walton Arts Center proudly presents the 7th Annual Artosphere Festival — Arkansas’ Arts and Nature Festival — May 10-27, 2016

Featuring both free and ticketed kids and family events, music performances and more at locations throughout Northwest Arkansas, Artosphere celebrates artists influenced by nature and provides a creative framework to discuss issues of sustainability.

Trailmix-Stephen Ironside

Trail Mix

A highlight of the festival is the annual Trail Mix weekend, and this year’s event is bigger and better than ever! Capturing the very essence of Artosphere, Trail Mix is a time of music, hiking and biking along local trails and the Razorback Regional Greenway. Creating a one-of-a-kind musical and outdoor experience, audiences hike or bike between stages while enjoying performances by bands from across the country. On Saturday, May 14, enjoy a full day of free programs along the Razorback Regional Greenway, from the Fayetteville to Bentonville town squares and many points in between – this festive event will also mark the one-year anniversary of the Razorback Greenway opening. And on Sunday, May 15, the Trail Mix fun comes to the Frisco Trail in downtown Fayetteville.

Another festival highlight is the Artosphere Festival Orchestra (AFO). Now in its sixth year and comprised of more than 90 musicians from prestigious ensembles, orchestras and music programs around the world, the AFO will once again gather in the Ozarks for a professional music-making experience unique to Artosphere.

Performing under the baton of internationally acclaimed Music Director Corrado Rovaris, the orchestra will present three concerts: the opening Russian Masterworks performance on May 21 showcasing works by Mussorgsky and Rachmaninoff, featuring renowned pianist Benedetto Lupo (tickets $10); the Heroic Beethoven concert on May 24 presenting two works by Beethoven, complemented by the American debut of Impetus by Daniel Schnyder featuring the Dover Quartet (tickets $10); and the ever-popular Live from Crystal Bridges: Mozart in the Museum concert on May 27 featuring AFO musicians and soprano soloist Deanna Breiwick performing a program of Mozart concert arias and early Mozart symphonies, which will be broadcast live on KUAF 91.3 FM Public Radio. The May 21 and May 24 concerts take place at Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville.

Artosphere Festival Orchestra led by music director Corrado Rovaris photo credit Stephen Ironside

Artosphere Festival Orchestra with Music Director Corrado Rovaris

Other 2016 Artosphere Festival highlights include:

Chapel Music Series | May 10, 16, 18, 20

Listen to exquisite music played in local churches and architectural marvels like St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Fayetteville and the E. Fay Jones designed Mildred B. Cooper Chapel in Bella Vista. This year’s Chapel Series lineup includes vocalist/ukulelist Paula Fuga, bluegrass band The Barefoot Movement, and two renowned string quartets, the Dover Quartet and the Aizuri Quartet.

SPINMay 12-13



Part indie music concert, part performance poetry, part history lesson, SPIN celebrates the bicycle as muse, musical instrument and agent of social change. Inspired by the incredible true story of the first woman to ride around the world on a bicycle, SPIN features a vintage bike hooked up to simple electronics and played as a brilliant accompaniment to the magnetic songs and monologues at the heart of this performance. Location: Walton Arts Center, Fayetteville

Circa’s Carnival of the Animals | May 13

The wondrous world of the animal kingdom comes to life when the Circa Carnival comes to town! With whimsical tales of creatures of land and sea who tumble, fly, leap and spin, Carnival of the Animals will whisk you away on a thrilling circus escapade, with the antics of performers set to a moving backdrop with animated visuals that create the feeling of being in a larger-than-life story book. Location: Walton Arts Center, Fayetteville

Carnival of the Animals 03_Photo by Justin Nicolas, Atmosphere Photography

Carnival of the Animals (photo by Justin Nicolas)

The Okee Dokee Brothers | May 15

Through playful songs and inspirational lyrics, this Grammy Award®-winning duo encourages children and adults alike to break away from our media driven culture and into the natural universe right under our noses. Drawing on traditional folk and mountain music with striking harmonies and spot-on picking, The Okee Dokee Brothers make room for kids to dance, and for parents to share stories. Location: Walton Arts Center, Fayetteville

Egg | May 21

A tale of three birds…and an egg! With a simple storyline and the use of creative light and sound combined with cleverly conceived props, Egg investigates the cycle of life of newly hatched birds. Told through physical theater, illusion and music, this heart-wrenching, funny and delightful story explores the theme of ‘flying the nest’ – drawing children in close to the lives of the little bird characters in their nest and telling them a story of friendship, wonder and tender, loving care. Location: Walton Arts Center, Fayetteville

For a complete festival event listing, visit




May Festival of the Arts: Creativity Runs Rampant in Eureka Springs!

Art is alive in Eureka Springs! Tucked in the mountains, surrounded by rivers, lakes and springs, Eureka Springs is a quirky, vibrant arts community full of galleries, Victorian architecture and a creative personality all its own. And from May 2–31, this town likes to show it off!

With more than 400 artists working in all mediums, the May Festival of the Arts is packed with one-of-a-kind art exhibits, gallery strolls, demonstrations and performances, including culinary arts, free live music in the park, and the wildest street party ever thrown by artists – the 26th Annual White Street Walk on May 20.

May Festival of the Arts ArtRageous Parade--Photo Credit Chip Ford

ArtRageous Parade

Other May Festival of the Arts events include:

ArtRageous Parade – Colorful, lively and sometimes shocking, this parade bursts onto the festival scene on May 7. See floats, art cars, walkers, dancers, musicians, jugglers, and the Africa in the Ozarks drum and dance group.

Plein Air Festival – Experience plein air painting in its loveliest form! This event will host various paint-outs in scenic, outdoor locations around the area, including downtown Eureka Springs, Beaver Lake, the Golden Gate Bridge of the Ozarks and more.


Breakfast with Frank – Come see what’s cooking at the Farmers Market. Indulge in baked treats, homemade breads, jellies and jams, pasture fed beef, pork, chicken and more!

Music in the Park – Enjoy free live music performed by some of the area’s most talented musicians.

Gallery Strolls – Each gallery stroll features free refreshments and special artist shows and receptions.

Ozarks Chorale Spring Concert – The Ozarks Chorale celebrates more than 20 years of sweet harmony with classical, spiritual and pop choral works.

Annual Books in Bloom Literary Festival – This event is free and known for presenting a bouquet of renowned authors speaking and reading from their works, and signing books!

For more info, including a complete festival event lineup, visit



Eventful Sports: Marathons, Cycling and a Fishing Tourney

There’s always something competitive going on in Northwest Arkansas. So step up and join in for the sport, the camaraderie, and the pure fun of it!

Joe Martin Stage Race/Joe Martin Grand Fondo  |  April 21-24

joe martin

Joe Martin Stage Race

Fayetteville has been home to this nationally and internationally sanctioned cycling race since 1977. This year’s race, to be held April 21-24, includes a four-day, four-event professional race, and a two-day, three-event amateur race. The professional men’s and women’s events are part of both the domestic and international professional racing calendars. Stakes too high? Try the Joe Martin Gran Fondo on April 23, a non-competitive bike ride held on some of the same courses the professionals compete on in the Joe Martin Stage Race. Participants get to be a “pro” for a day! Fun rest stops, unique courses, and post-ride festivities set both of these races apart. For more info, visit and

Hogeye Marathon  |  April 10

Get your pig on April 10! This marathon, which began in 1977, starts at the University of Arkansas and goes to the small town of Hogeye where it turns around and comes back. Over the years, the course has been changed to be more runner-friendly and cover the most scenic parts of Fayetteville. A pasta dinner and expo round out the fun. For more info, visit


Bentonville Running Festival

Bentonville Running Festival | April 2

Run the half marathon, the 5K or the Fun Run – all on April 2. The festival includes an expo, a pasta party, and a post race celebration with more food choices, music, vendors and inflatables for kids. For more info, visit

Walmart FLW Bass Fishing Tour | April 14-17

Anglers from all over the world will load up their boats and head out on Beaver Lake on April 14-17 for this big-stakes bass event, hosted by Visit Rogers. The annual pro fishing tournament starts at Prairie Creek Recreation Area, prior to the FLW Expo at the John Q. Hammons Center in Rogers. Winners can fetch more than $100,000 in awards. For more info, visit


The Open Road: Come Along for the Ride

The new photography exhibition at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is the perfect reason to road trip to Northwest Arkansas this spring!

The Open Road: Photography and the American Road Trip — the world-class museum’s first large-scale photography exhibition — is on display now through May 30.

The exhibition is the first to look at the American road as muse, and features more than 100 images by 19 photographers who’ve magically captured their journey across the nation from the 1950s to present day. Visit roadside motels, Mount Rushmore, the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Route 66, the Pacific Coast Highway, theme parks, and everyday America.

These images provide offbeat and personal reflections of the photographers’ journeys, including the people they encounter, car culture, roadside attractions, and more.

Photographers include Robert Frank, Ed Ruscha, Garry Winogrand, Inge Morath, William Eggleston, Lee Friedlander, Joel Meyerowitz, Jacob Holdt, Stephen Shore, Bernard Plossu, Victor Burgin, Joel Sternfeld, Alec Soth, Todd Hido, Shinya Fujiwara, Ryan McGinley, Justine Kurland, and Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs. Together, they elevate the ubiquitous snapshot— sometimes taken through the window of a moving car — to a work of art. So, grab a friend and come discover The Open Road!

To watch the exhibition preview video, or for more info, visit


PHOTOS: (Top) Clockwise from top left: Ryan McGinley, Dakota Hair, 2004; Niko Krebs, Wires, 2008; Inge Morath, Outside Memphis, Tennessee, 1960; Ed Ruscha, Phillips 66, Flagstaff, Arizona, 1962. (Bottom) Justine Kurland, Claire, 8th Ward, 2012


Bentonville Film Festival: A Star Studded Affair

Back for its second year, the Bentonville Film Festival continues to create exciting opportunities for women and minorities in film-making, while bringing a taste of the movie industry to Northwest Arkansas!

Geena Davis

Geena Davis

Founded by Academy Award-winning actress Geena Davis and filmmaker Trevor Drinkwater, the Bentonville Film Festival takes place at a variety of locations around the downtown Bentonville Square. This year’s festival will be held May 3-8, and visitors can expect 75 different screenings, including studio premieres, independent features and documentaries, a star-studded awards show hosted by Geena Davis, celebrity-led panels, and much more!

BFF offers something for everyone, with community events including a family film night, Cinco de Mayo concert, regional bike ride/movie adventure and a rematch of last year’s “A League of Their Own” softball game, which saw Davis and actress Rosie O’Donnell take the diamond at Arvest Ballpark in Springdale.

The festival drew an impressive 37,000 attendees and 50 filmmakers from around the world during its first year, and that number is expected to increase for the 2016 fest. Keep your eyes glued for celeb sightings, too!

For more info, visit


Rosie O’Donnell









Jenna Elfman

Spring Roundup: Fun Things to Do and See in Northwest Arkansas

Whether you’re hanging with the kids while school is out for Spring Break, or looking for weekend fun during the entire spring season, here’s a list of some best-bet options:

Soar through the air on a high-flying zipline or skydive adventure: Ozark Mountain Ziplines, Skydive Skyranch


Hike the grounds at Crystal Bridges past waterfalls, art sculptures and more along the 3.5 miles of trails winding through the museum’s wooded grounds: Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Pedal the Razorback Regional Greenway along its 37 miles of multi-use trails, alongside lakes, parks, downtowns and more: NWA Trails

Hit the dirt at the region’s off-road mountain-bike trails and parks: The Railyard, Mt. Kessler GreenwaysSlaughter Pen Trails

Navigate the waters of the scenic Illinois River in Siloam Springs, engineered for skilled kayakers as well as beginners with a length of rapids approximately 700 feet and Class II and III difficulty: Siloam Springs Kayak Park


Fancy a golf game at award-winning courses in Bella Vista and Holiday Island: Bella Vista Village, Holiday Island

Relive moments in time at a regional history museum: Shiloh Museum, Arkansas Air & Military MuseumThe Walmart Museum, Rogers Historical MuseumMuseum of Native American History, Clinton House Museum

Explore the underground wonders of the Ozarks during a wild cave tour: Cosmic Cavern, War Eagle Cavern

Taste your way through a local craft brew tour: Fayetteville Ale Trail

Walk on the wild side at a wildlife animal park: Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge Wild Wilderness Drive Through Safari

Sway your head at a headlining concert at the Walmart AMP – upcoming shows include Jason Aldean, Ellie Goulding, Journey and The Doobie Brothers, Kenny Chesney, Sammy Hagar, Miranda Lambert and more: Arkansas Music Pavilion

Opening night at the Walmart AMP Pavilion with Blake Shelton on Saturday June 7, 2014 in Rogers, Arkansas

Work your taste buds on Holiday Island at the state Chili Championship: Arkansas State Chili Cookoff

Explore the Ozarks landscape, wildlife and exhibits at Northwest Arkansas’ four state parks: Devil’s DenPrairie Grove BattlefieldHobbsWithrow Springs

Paddle a canoe along the nearby Buffalo National River, or the White, Kings or Mulberry Rivers: BuffaloWhiteKingsMulberry

Indulge in local art, culture and entertainment downtown at Fayetteville’s First Thursday and Bentonville’s First Friday celebrations: First Thursday Fayetteville, First Friday Bentonville


Check out the blooms at a colorful display garden: Botanical Garden of the OzarksBlue Spring Heritage Center, Compton Gardens

Get creative with spring art lessons, camps and workshops: Crystal Bridges Museum of American ArtCommunity Creative Center, Arts Center of the Ozarks

Stoke your sense of curiosity and discovery at the Scott Family Amazeum through hands-on activities and interactive exhibits: Scott Family Amazeum


Browse the season’s best at NWA’s award-winning local farmers markets: Fayetteville, RogersSiloam SpringsEureka SpringsBentonville, Springdale, Huntsville/Madison County  




42nd Arkansas Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Springdale March 13-15

ARGovCon_siteGovernor Asa Hutchinson, P. Allen Smith, Darley Newman and Phillip Rhodes to speak

Tourism partners from across the state will meet at the 42nd Arkansas Governor’s Conference on Tourism March 13-15 at the Northwest Arkansas Convention Center in Springdale. This year’s theme is “Spring Training: Preparing For a Winning Season.”

The annual gathering of Arkansas’s tourism industry offers sessions on a variety of topics such as bringing new travelers to the state, refining networking skills and promoting communities and attractions.

The opening keynote speaker for the event is Phillip Rhodes, executive managing editor of Garden & Gun magazine. Also speaking will be gardening and lifestyle expert P. Allen Smith and Darley Newman, a five-time Emmy-nominated TV host and producer of PBS’s “Travels with Darley” and “Equitrekking.” The conference will culminate with the presentation of the 2016 Henry Awards and an address by Governor Asa Hutchinson.

Other conference topics include:

  • Your Tax Dollars at Work: Arkansas’s 2016 Tourism Campaign
  • Presentation of the 2016 Tourism Hall of Fame Awards to Bill Worthen and Montine McNulty
  • Scouting Out Native American Tourism
  • Heritage Tourism: Taking Pride In Our History
  • Live Your Brand: From Marketing to Leadership
  • Sports Marketing Is A Natural
  • Geo-Tourism In The Arkansas Delta
  • How Tech-Savvy Small Businesses Are Winning in 2016

The Arkansas Tourism Development Foundation’s annual auction will take place Monday night. The money raised from the silent and live auctions funds scholarships for individuals seeking careers in the hospitality and tourism industries.

The Arkansas Governor’s Conference on Tourism was first held in 1975 at Dogpatch, U.S.A. Springdale serves as host for the third time in the conference’s history.